Chomsky: 20 Years After Iraq War Vote, US Continues To Flout International Law

Noam Chomsky

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. congressional vote to authorize the deadly war on Iraq, which according to some estimates, killed between 800,000 and 1.3 million people. In the exclusive interview for Truthout that follows, Noam Chomsky shares his thoughts on the causes and ramifications of this appalling crime against humanity.

Chomsky is institute professor emeritus in the department of linguistics and philosophy at MIT and laureate professor of linguistics and Agnese Nelms Haury Chair in the Program in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona. One of the world’s most-cited scholars and a public intellectual regarded by millions of people as a national and international treasure, Chomsky has published more than 150 books in linguistics, political and social thought, political economy, media studies, U.S. foreign policy and world affairs. His latest books are The Secrets of Words (with Andrea Moro; MIT Press, 2022); The Withdrawal: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of U.S. Power (with Vijay Prashad; The New Press, 2022); and The Precipice: Neoliberalism, the Pandemic and the Urgent Need for Social Change (with C.J. Polychroniou; Haymarket Books, 2021).

C.J. Polychroniou: Noam, 20 years ago, the U.S. Congress authorized the invasion of Iraq despite massive opposition to such an undertaking. Several leading Democratic senators ended up supporting the war authorization, including Joe Biden. For both historical and future purposes, what were the causes and ramifications of the Iraq war?

Noam Chomsky: There are many kinds of support, ranging from outright to tacit. The latter includes those who regard it as a mistake but no more than that — a “strategic blunder,” as in Obama’s retrospective judgment. There were Nazi generals who opposed Hitler’s major decisions as strategic blunders. We don’t regard them as opponents of Nazi aggression. The same with regard to Russian generals who opposed the invasion of Afghanistan as a mistake, as many did.

If we can ever rise to the level of applying to ourselves the standards we rightly apply to others, then we will recognize that there has been little principled opposition to the Iraq War in high places, including the government and the political class. Much as in the case of the Vietnam War and other major crimes.

There was, of course, strong popular opposition. Characteristic was my own experience at MIT. Students demanded that we suspend classes so that they could participate in the huge public protests before the war was officially launched — something new in the history of imperialism — later meeting in a downtown church to discuss the impending crime and what it portended.

Much the same was true worldwide, so much so that Donald Rumsfeld came out with his famous distinction between Old and New Europe. Old Europe are the traditional democracies, old-fashioned fuddy-duddies who we Americans can disregard because they are mired in boring concepts like international law, sovereign rights, and other outdated nonsense.

New Europe in contrast are the good guys: a few former Russian satellites who toe Washington’s line, and one western democracy, Spain, where Prime Minister Aznar went along with Washington, disregarding close to 100 percent of public opinion. He was rewarded by being invited to join Bush and Blair as they announced the invasion.

The distinction reflects our traditional deep concern for democracy.

It will be interesting to see if Bush and Blair are interviewed on this auspicious occasion. Bush was interviewed on the 20th anniversary of his invasion of Afghanistan, another act of criminal aggression that was overwhelmingly opposed by international opinion contrary to many claims, matters we have discussed before. He was interviewed by the Washington Post — in the Style section, where he was portrayed as a lovable goofy grandpa playing with his grandchildren and showing off his portraits of famous people he had met.

There was an official reason for the U.S.-U.K. invasion of Iraq, the “single question,” as it was called from on high: Will Iraq terminate its nuclear weapons programs?

International inspectors had questioned whether there were such programs and asked for more time to investigate, but were dismissed. The U.S. and its U.K. lackey were aiming for blood. A few months later the “single question” was answered, the wrong way. We may recall the amusing skit that Bush performed, looking under the table, “No not there,” maybe in the closet, etc. All to hilarious laughter, though not in the streets of Baghdad. Read more

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De liefst van heeldeweerlt

Hildeke stond in de kast met reisverhalen in de boekwinkel waar ik het nieuwe boek van Lieve Joris kocht. Ernaast stond nog een exemplaar van Terug naar Neerpelt.
Na al die landen, steden en dorpen die ze in haar schrijversbestaan heeft bezocht en beschreven, is Lieve Joris thuisgekomen. En thuis lagen een paar verhalen die verteld moesten worden.
Terug naar Neerpelt is het verhaal van de grote broer die alles kon en durfde. Maar ook de broer die door zijn verslaving het gezin Joris meesleepte in een draaikolk van emoties.

Vier jaar later gaan we weer naar Neerpelt. Om naar het verhaal van Hildeke te luisteren. Hildeke, het zusje met Downsyndroom. Hildeke die door het leven scharrelt; dan blij, dan bang, dan stilletjes.
‘Tegen Fonny wapenen we ons; Hildeke zullen we van jongs af aan beschermen’, schrijft Lieve Joris.

Het eerste deel van Hildeke is een ontroerende beschrijving van de laatste levensfase van vader Joris. De man die zich niet kon wapenen tegen Fonny. Waardoor de andere kinderen zich door hem wat in de steek gelaten voelden.
Als vader een reproductie van De val van Icarus ziet in de gang van het verzorgingshuis, vraagt Lieve Joris zich af of hij dit verhaal uit de Griekse mythologie misschien op Fonny betrekt. Waarmee in één beeld verteld wordt hoe de kinderen keken naar het gevangen zijn van hun vader.

In het tweede deel zien we Hildeke.
‘Lachen en huilen liggen bij Hildeke dicht bij elkaar; daartussen bevindt zich een raadselachtig landschap dat wij herhaaldelijk proberen te ontsluiten.’
In dit deel krijgt de lezer ook een mooi portret van al die kinderen Joris. Een kluwen van karakters. Waarbij ieder op eigen wijze voor Hildeke zorgdraagt.
Die kluwen wordt prachtig beschreven als de familie naar Estland gaat:
‘De Jorissen in een chique omgeving, dat leidt onveranderlijk tot typische taferelen: ze zijn geïntimideerd en palmen het terrein tegelijkertijd volledig in. Rennen, lachen en roepen in de gangen, bonken op deuren, elkaars kamers verkennen tot aan de zeepjes in de badkamer en de chocolaatjes op de hoofdkussens toe.’

De stilte treedt in als Hildeke weerloos in het ziekenhuis ligt.
‘Het liefste wat we ooit kregen gaat ons verlaten’, schrijft een zus.

De liefst van heeldeweerlt is niet meer.
Wat blijft is dit boek.
Daar zit je dan. Een uur voor je uit te staren. Met die hele familie in je hart.

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Brazil’s Runoff Election Will Have Enormous Effects On The Global Climate Crisis

Noam Chomsky

Brazil is now headed toward a rocky presidential runoff vote on October 30, after its October 2 election produced no clear winner between far right populist president Jair Bolsonaro — an outspoken admirer of the brutal military dictatorship that came to power in 1964 by deposing a democratically elected president and lasted until 1985 — and Bolsonaro’s leftist challenger, Lula.

This is a tightly contested election, but polls are giving Lula a clear edge as he has received the endorsement of both the third and fourth finishers. Meanwhile Bolsonaro has indicated on numerous occasions in the past that he will not accept the election result if he loses.

The election will determine the future of Latin America’s powerhouse — a country with the 12th largest economy in the world that is rich in a variety of natural resources and home to the world’s biggest rainforest, the Amazon. Brazil is also a country of extreme inequality, awash in corruption and violence.

What is at stake in the runoff election, both for Brazil and the world at large, is brilliantly elucidated by Noam Chomsky in the exclusive interview for Truthout that follows. Chomsky is presently in Brazil and has been following very closely both the election campaigns as well as overall developments in the country.

Chomsky is internationally recognized as one of the greatest public intellectuals alive, the founder of modern linguistics and one of the most cited scholars in the history of the world. He is institute professor and professor of linguistics emeritus at MIT and laureate professor of linguistics at the University of Arizona. He has published more than 150 books in linguistics, politics and current affair, history and political economy, media studies, U.S. foreign policy and global affairs.

C.J. Polychroniou: Noam, the eyes of the world were focused on Brazil’s presidential election a couple of weeks ago, which pitted incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, a divisive far right populist, against former leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who had served years in prison on charges of money laundering and corruption in a controversial trial. Neither candidate managed to win more than 50 percent of the vote, so there is going to be a runoff election at the end of the month. Why does Brazil’s election matter so much to the world?

Noam Chomsky: A century ago, Brazil was declared to be “the Colossus of the South,” set to lead the hemisphere along with “the Colossus of the North.” Since then, the northern Colossus has replaced Britain as the virtual ruler of the world, extending its power far beyond the dreams of what is now Washington’s junior partner. The southern Colossus has stumbled. It is important to understand how.

In the 1950s, decolonization was beginning, and the former colonial societies were not only seeking independence but also advances toward social justice and peaceful settlement of international disputes. The non-aligned movement was formed. Other initiatives were beginning. All of this was anathema to the U.S. and its imperial predecessors.

Brazil was part of the global effort under Kubitschek and in the early ‘60s, Quadros and Goulart. The Kennedy administration was deeply concerned with these global developments, particularly in the traditional U.S. preserve in Latin America.

In 1962, in a decision of historical importance, JFK shifted the role of the Latin American military from “hemispheric defense” to “internal security,” meaning war against the population. The effects were graphically described by Kennedy-Johnson Director of Counterinsurgency Charles Maechling: The decision led to a shift from toleration “of the rapacity and cruelty of the Latin American military” to “direct complicity” in their crimes, to U.S. support for “the methods of Heinrich Himmler’s extermination squads.”

A primary concern was Brazil, Latin America’s powerhouse. The JFK administration helped prepare the ground for a 1964 military coup that overthrew the flourishing Brazilian democracy shortly after Kennedy’s assassination.

The destruction of democracy was welcomed by Kennedy-Johnson Ambassador to Brazil Lincoln Gordon as a “democratic rebellion,” “a great victory for the free world” that should “create a greatly improved climate for private investments.” This democratic rebellion was “the single most decisive victory of freedom in the mid-twentieth century,” Gordon continued, “one of the major turning points in world history” in this period.

Gordon was right. The vicious military junta in Brazil was the first of the neo-Nazi terror-and-torture National Security States that then spread over Latin America, a plague that reached Central America under Reagan’s murderous regime. Read more

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Brazil’s Lula Remerges — In A Very Different Political World

Sonali Kolhatkar – Photo: sonalikolhatkar.com

Brazil’s first round of elections, held on October 2, yielded a major victory for the man who held the presidency from 2003 to 2010, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Winning 48 percent of the vote in a multicandidate race, Lula now heads to a runoff against incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro, who won 43 percent. It’s the first chapter of a dramatic comeback for a leader who was once hailed as the epitome of Latin America’s resurgent left, who was then imprisoned on corruption charges by a politicized judiciary, eventually was released, and has now emerged onto the political scene in a very different nation than the one he once led.

A founding member of Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT), Lula ran for president several times before winning in 2002. A year later I recall sitting in a huge stadium in Porto Alegre for the second annual World Social Forum (WSF), getting ready alongside tens of thousands of people to hear the new president speak. The WSF was an organized response to the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, where world leaders annually hobnob with corporate executives to explore capitalist solutions to the problems created by capitalism.

In 2003, the crowds that had gathered in a Porto Alegre stadium to explore alternatives to capitalism greeted Lula with coordinated roars of “olè olè olè Lula!” It seemed at that moment that everything could change for the better, and that, in the words of Indian writer Arundhati Roy, who also addressed the WSF, “another world is not only possible, she is on her way.” Indeed, Lula’s rewriting of Brazil’s economic priorities emphasizing benefits for low-income communities was a welcome change in a world seduced by neoliberalism. He went on to win reelection in 2006.

In subsequent years, Lula moved closer toward the political center. Maria Luisa Mendonça, director of Brazil’s Network for Social Justice and Human Rights, says, “I don’t think Lula is this radical left-wing person” today. In an interview she explains, “many social movements had criticisms of the Workers’ Party before because they thought [the party] could move to make structural changes in Brazil.” Still, she maintains that Lula’s changes to Brazil were profound. “The amount of investment that the Workers’ Party did, in education for example, [was] unprecedented.” She asserts that “they really made concrete improvements in the lives of people.”

Fast-forward to 2018 and Bolsonaro swept into power, glorifying the ugliest aspects of bigoted conservatism and making them central to his rule, and decimating Lula’s legacy of economic investments in the poor. Business executives in the U.S. celebrated his win, excited at the prospect of a deregulated economy in which they could invest, and from which they could extract wealth.

Today Latin America’s largest democracy has been shattered by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which Bolsonaro’s fascist and conspiracy-fueled leadership elevated snake oil cures above commonsense scientific mitigation. The Amazon rainforest has suffered the ravages of unfettered deforestation, and its Indigenous inhabitants have been exploited beyond measure.

Bizarrely, some corporate media pundits in the United States place equal blame on Bolsonaro and Lula for Brazil’s worrisome status quo. Arick Wierson writes on NBCNews.com, “these pressing problems are the result of the policies and actions of Brazilian leadership over the past two decades—inextricably linked to both the Lula and Bolsonaro administrations.”

The Economist advises Lula to “move to the center” in order to win the election, implying that his social and economic agenda is too leftist. A PT spokesperson told the Financial Times that if Lula wins a third term in the October 30 runoff election, he plans to focus on the “popular economy,” meaning that “the Brazilian state will have to fulfill a strong agenda in inducing economic development,” which would be achieved with “jobs, social programs, and the presence of the state.”

It speaks to the severe conservative skewing of the world political spectrum that a leader like Lula is still considered left of center. According to Mendonça, “I don’t think that investing in education and health care, in job creation, is a radical idea.” She views Lula as “a moderate politician,” and says that now, “after a very disastrous administration of Bolsonaro, Lula again is the most popular politician in the country.”

Most Brazilians appear to have tired of Bolsonarismo. A Reuters poll found that Lula now enjoys 51 percent support to Bolsonaro’s 43 percent ahead of the October 30 runoff race. But, just as the 2016 U.S. presidential race yielded a win for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, the candidate who had been widely expected to win, there is no guarantee that Lula will prevail.

And Bolsonaro, who has been dubbed the “Tropical Trump,” has worryingly taken a page out of the disgraced American leader’s 2020 election playbook in claiming ahead of the first round of elections that Lula loyalists plan to steal the election. “Bolsonaro has been threatening not to accept the result of the election,” says Mendonça. “His discourse is very similar to Trump’s discourse.”

Just as Trump—in spite of damning and overwhelming evidence of his unfitness for office—remains disconcertingly popular among a significant minority of Americans, Bolsonaro enjoys a stubborn level of allegiance within Brazil. He has reshaped the political landscape so deeply that the lines between reality and propaganda remain blurred.

“We had years and years of attacks against the Workers’ Party,” says Mendonça. She asks us to “imagine if all mainstream media [in Brazil] were like Fox News.” Additionally, Bolsonaro has built what she calls “a huge infrastructure to spread fake news on social media.” And, like Trump, Bolsonaro enjoys support from evangelical churches.

“The challenge is how you resist that type of message,” worries Mendonça. She dismisses claims that Brazil is politically polarized as too simplistic, saying that it “doesn’t really explain that there was this orchestrated effort to attack democracy in Brazil.” Putting Brazil into an international context, she sees Bolsonaro as “part of this global far-right movement that uses those types of mechanisms to manipulate public opinion and to discredit democracy.”

The nation and the world that a resurgent Lula faces are ones that require far more sophisticated opposition and organized resistance than when he last held office more than a decade ago.

Ultimately, the challenges facing Lula, the PT, and Brazilians in general are the same ones that we all face: how do we prioritize people’s needs over corporate greed, and how do we elevate the rights of human beings, of women, people of color, Indigenous communities, LGBTQ individuals, and the earth’s environment, in the face of a rising fascism that deploys organized disinformation so effectively?

This article was produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Sonali Kolhatkar is an award-winning multimedia journalist. She is the founder, host, and executive producer of “Rising Up With Sonali,” a weekly television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV and Pacifica stations. Her forthcoming book is Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice (City Lights Books, 2023). She is a writing fellow for the Economy for All project at the Independent Media Institute and the racial justice and civil liberties editor at Yes! Magazine. She serves as the co-director of the nonprofit solidarity organization the Afghan Women’s Mission and is a co-author of Bleeding Afghanistan. She also sits on the board of directors of Justice Action Center, an immigrant rights organization.

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Capitalism And The Generation Of Non-Relational Patchworks

Kerala flood

Felix Guattari’s The Three Ecologies first came out in 1989 (As Catographies Schizoanalytiques). I bought a translation in 2011, when the research I was at, on urban processes in the south western India state of Kerala, was yet to wind up. Perhaps the most significant pointers were towards the complex relationships that have always been there but becomes starker in what he calls ‘integrated world capitalism’.

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) had started off in 1972. This was preceded by significant environmental movements across the world in their different orientations from conservation of ecology, wildlife, realization of pollution and rural community interventions. Though Joseph Fourier and Svante Arrhenius by the end of 1800s started talking the science of greenhouse effect, this was yet to be accounted for in the complex relationships that have epochal effects like the anthropocene, when Guattari was at work. The work gets more interesting as the trope of ‘network’ was yet to have internet as a metaphor and globalization as an idea replete with abstractions that went along, was still to be a key word.

The Three Ecologies prompted me, by the completion of my then enquiries, that the complex relationships that manifested in changing phases of urbanisation in ecological contexts could well be stretched further from. Years hence the work comes back at me, now through some unavoidable vignettes that were less noted before. I quote one here:

“Now more than ever, nature cannot be separated from culture; in order to comprehend the interactions between ecosystems, the mechanosphere and the social and individual Universes of reference, we must learn to think ‘transversally’. Just as monstrous and mutant algae invade the lagoon of Venice, so our television screens are populated, saturated, by ‘degenerate’ images and statements [enonces]. In the field of social ecology, men like Donald Trump are permitted to proliferate freely, like another species of algae, taking over entire districts of New York and Atlantic City; he ‘redevelops’ by raising rents, thereby driving out tens of thousands of poor families, most of whom are condemned to homelessness becoming the equivalent of the dead fish in environmental ecology.” [P. 43, The Three Ecologies, 2000]

Specifics like Donald Trump who along with other right-wing figureheads as paradigms of threats to life, degenerate images and statements that characterize these symbols, driving out of people, metaphors from non-human ecology; all of these are too big to miss. But so are the reminders of recognizing connectivity, and the need to think transversally.

Such needs got pressing during specific events of recent times. The ecological disasters from different places, demonetization, or the pandemics can prompt transversal thoughts on relationships. The top-down imagination of ecologies and economies; with the add-on provisions to provide capital to corporates; have already resulted in the biggest socio-ecological disasters in the sub-continent. Urban spaces in the contemporary times, have demonstrated that it is not the virus itself that kills, but it works in synergy with the uneven terrains and absence of care as was evident in the Indian scenario with only a few exceptions. With the coordinates of daily rhythms overwhelmingly set by the virus and its trajectories, it has become even tougher to separate ourselves from the contingent and contexts we are thrown into every day. Risk societies, urban informalities, everyday precarities, techno-social deployments, or surveillance and pastoral orders have scaled our skins and rewired our bodily rhythms, to such an extent that only a transverse thinking and parliament of things (Latour 1991) can get us anywhere.

The Working Group of the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy who deliberate on whether the anthropocene, could be an ‘official geological era’ has not decided which human impact has been the most comprehensive. Many pin the time period on the Columbian exchanges when European colonial process (from 1600s to 1700s) saw a coming together of industrialization, exchange of labour and raw materials, or rapid transformation of ecosystems like in the Americas.

The massive extraction of fossil fuels post world war two has been another significant point of time, and so are the increasing levels of nuclear tests after the 1960s (traced in the presence of increased radionuclide). All this brings in a major obligation in terms of historical, political and philosophical reconceptualisation of life, non-life, and the networks of relationships in terms of human impacts. The accustomed ways of thinking that kept human culture as separate from nature obviously is problematised. Presently, the pandemic order has only reiterated the inextricable links and relationships between hybrid systems that were earlier spliced up into nature and culture.

The need is pressings to dwell upon relationships between hybrids, that events like pandemics or demonetizations, makes visible the complex networks during ecological catastrophes. In a way, events of specific environmental catastrophes, top-down economic decisions, or the mishandling and thus making of a pandemic order; brings to fore what is otherwise unrecognized. Read more

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Italy Has A Far-Right Government, But The Real Danger Of Fascism Exists In The US

CJ Polychroniou

At the present historical juncture, the danger of European societies becoming fascist is far less than the one facing the United States.

The victory of Giorgia Meloni’s far-right coalition in Italy’s election is yet the starkest evidence of the dramatic consequences that the neoliberal policies of the European Union (EU) are having on the member states. Indeed, the return of old demons in Italy and the spread of far-right movements and parties across Europe are directly linked to the reactionary economic dogmas and shallow integration strategies pursued by the euro masters in Brussels and Frankfurt.

Let me explain.

Following the end of World War II, certain visionary leaders in France and Germany proceeded with the creation of structures and institutions beyond the nation-state to ensure that Europeans would finally put an end to their favorite pastime: bloody warfare. This was the logic behind the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC), which was founded by the Treaty of Rome in 1957.  It was a rather noble undertaking, and one that managed to build solid alliances among historical enemies that have lasted longer than any other time in European history, although other factors, such as the Cold War, played a significant role in the long period of peace that ensued in Europe since the end of the Second World War.

However, the EEC evolved over time into something beyond a regional trade regime with respect for democracy, national sovereignty and social rights. It was transformed into a corporate entity driven by the relentless desire to subjugate labor to the whims of capital and to impose “economic efficiency” in the management of the welfare state through the gradual transfer of power from the demos to non-elected officials in Brussels. Ultimately, this vision was materialized with the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, the foundation treaty of the European Union. The Maastricht Treaty also paved the way for the creation of a single currency, but without putting into place a federal system of government.

In this sense, rather than being unique, the EU is in fact an oddity—a Frankenstein-like creation. With the adoption of a single currency, in particular, the space for national economic policymaking was severely constrained and, in the absence of a federal government, austerity became almost by default, an integral component of the new European political economy, providing a perfect match to labor flexibility and other anti-social reform measures—privatization, the commodification of health and education, pension reform—all of which are geared toward the marketization of society. Full employment, which prior to the creation of the EU political parties of all persuasion took seriously, was ditched in favor of flexible labor markets and equality was left to the “logic” of the market forces themselves.

The so-called “flawed” architecture of the EU was not due to oversight or technical errors. It stemmed from the very premises of the fundamental neoliberal dogmas that guided the mindset of the European economic elites and their corporate and financial allies. European policymakers had become obsessed with the belief that the critical variables for growth were to be found in trade openness and competition, deep financial integration, and the removal of all restrictions on capital movements. They understood very well that these were the conditions that would pave the way to more efficient business operations, lower unit labor costs, and increase profit margins for Europe’s multinational corporations.

Indeed, the Europeanization process that has been unleashed since the signing of the Maastricht Treaty is completely alien to the traditional vision of a social and democratic Europe, creating in the process fertile soil for the growth of authoritarian leaders who promise to take power away from the global elites, re-establish the supremacy of the nation-state, and return to the traditional social order in which national homogeneity and family values reign supreme.

It is due to the unsettling effects of the EU’s neoliberal policies that voters on the continent have shifted dramatically to the right, even in traditionally social democratic nations like Sweden and Finland, especially since the socialist and social-democratic parties have abandoned any pretext of caring about the working class and have in fact been carrying out the mission of a neoliberal EU.

The euro crisis of 2010 brought to surface all the structural weakness of the EU and intensified the realignment of European voters over both social and cultural issues, with conservative and outright reactionary political parties and movements gaining the upper hand virtually throughout the continent, with Greece being a rare exception. But even in the land that founded democracy, the experiment with a “leftist” government was short-lived after Syriza engaged in a gigantic betrayal of the clear mandate that it had to shred into pieces the bailout agreements and do away with EU’s sadistic austerity measures.

The electoral victory of Brothers of Italy, led by Giorgia Meloni, a longtime admirer of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, comes therefore as no surprise. It is the price representative democracies are paying for allowing themselves to be controlled by outside forces with little if any political legitimacy. Indeed, lest we forget, the signing of the Maastricht Treaty was one of the most undemocratic procedures in the history of modern Europe. It was signed by presidents and prime ministers without any popular input, let alone consent. Read more

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